HOW TO TRAVEL SAFELY WITH YOUR KIT
Pre-travel jitters? We all get them. Where’s your passport? Where’s your credit card? Does the bank know you’re going away (surprisingly important).
And all that’s before you think about your photography kit. A camera and a lens is barely the start of the story: batteries, chargers, backup storage and more should be on your packing checklist. Here’s what you need – and how to protect it.
1. Insurance, insurance, insurance
So, yeah. If your camera isn’t insured you’re asking for a hefty bill. Sometimes even the most careful photographers – you know, the ones who leave the protective plastic sticker on their camera screens – come a cropper. Rogue waves on boats, accidental drops, leaving your camera on the roof of your car and, for landscape photographers, truly terrible weather, can all leave your camera little more than a paperweight. Talk to your household insurer, make sure they know what your camera’s worth, and get them to confirm that it’s definitely covered for accidental damage and theft away from the home. In a surprising number of cases this won’t result in an increased premium – just peace of mind.
2. Data security is everything
In a way, the images you make while out of the country are more valuable than your camera kit. Cameras, after all, can be replaced. The image you made of a touching moment between a pair of mountain gorillas is quite a bit harder, and possibly more expensive, to recreate. So if you’re one of those people who simply fills a memory card while they’re away and then backs up once they’re back, stop it. You stop it right now. Ideally take a laptop with an external hard disk so you can make backups to keep in different physical locations (you know, just like you do at home, right?), and create a backup every night.
3. Have confidence
Of course, we encourage you to be careful with your equipment. If the waves are cresting over the bow of your boat perhaps it’s not the best time to be snapping pictures of the coast; or if the rain is freezing on the lens of your camera you might find that finding shelter is the best bet. However – especially if your camera is weather-sealed – you’ll be surprised what our hardy OLYMPUS kit can handle. Remember, you bought your camera to use to make spellbinding, imaginative images, not to look pristine in a decade’s time.
4. Power to the people
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: the hotel with a single electrical outlet that makes you choose between charging your phone and your camera. Top tip: pack a four-way UK electrical power strip and use that instead. That way you only need a single shape-changing plug adapter. Good thinking, Brain!
It does give us a reason to replay the “United Breaks Guitars” guy, though. ..
5. Check in, check out
This one’s important. Ready? DO NOT CHECK YOUR CAMERA GEAR INTO THE HOLD ON A PLANE. There are lots of ways to avoid this; we prefer perfecting our nonchalant face so it looks like our very heavy camera bags don’t weigh as much as they really do. If it looks like the cabin crew are about to get all specific about how much your overhead luggage weighs, start taking the heavy bits – lenses, typically – out and put them in your pockets to avoid having your bag slid down the excess baggage slide and left to the devices of luggage handlers, known as “throwers” in the travel industry for very obvious reasons.